Every year, the Chiwong monastery celebrates Mani Rimdu. This festival is held from the first day of the tenth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, falling between mid-october and mid-november. The Mani Rimdu is a 19-day sequence of sacred ceremonies and empowerments culminating in a public festival lasting three days. From the beginning until the end of the festival, 24 hours Puja (rituals) are executed by the monks to bless the Mandala, the Mani Rilwu (sacred pills), the Tshereel (pills for life) and the Torma. It is an opportunity for Sherpa and Tibetans to gather within the monastic community.
The symbolism of Mani Rimdu takes its roots in the re-creation of mythical events; the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet by the great saint Guru Rinpoche (Pasmasambhava). Through the dances, the demons are conquered, expelled or converted to Dharma Protectors. The dances bring Buddhists teaching on numerous levels from the simplest to the most philosophical.
The monks performing the dances must first take a vow during the empowerment ceremony with Trulshig Rinpoche. During the dances, they transform into deities, instead of ordinary people. Since the dances represent a certain importance, these can only be carried out in the context of Mani Rimdu, and not just for any type of entertainment.
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